Share

Snowboarding

Iouri Podlatchikov Out of the Olympics Due to Head Injury

The reigning gold medallist in halfpipe has pulled out of Pyeongchang

The reigning gold medallist Iouri ‘iPod’ Podlatchikov has ruled himself out of contention in the men’s halfpipe at the Olympics in Pyeongchang because of a brain injury he received at the X Games last month.

The Swiss stunt-ditch specialist had travelled out to South Korea with the rest of his national team, but after doing one training session and undergoing further tests, he decided that “participating in the Olympic Games is in no way safe and responsible”.

“It was clear to me that I had sustained a serious and dangerous injury.”

In a statement released by the Swiss ski federation he said: “When I received this diagnosis, it was clear to me that I had sustained a serious and dangerous injury and that participating in the Olympic Games would pose a great risk to my health.” But he’d obviously hoped to be able to push on through.

iPod is congratulated by a gracious Shaun White after he beat the American (and the rest of the field) in Sochi. Photo: Nick Atkins

The crash had been a nasty one though. iPod went down hard on the landing of his final hit in the second run of the X Games final a few weeks back.

While he’s obviously absolutely gutted that he won’t be competing, in the light of Kevin Pearce’s life-changing injury in 2009 we’d have to say this sounds like a sensible decision.

Concussion is no joke, and while Mpora is far from medically qualified, we know enough to know that repeat concussions can make any existing issues exponentially worse.

With iPod out though, the field is also clearer for the likes of Ayumu Hirano and Shaun White, who are surely now the best-placed contenders for the gold medal.

Whether or not the Swiss rider could have thrown down a run to beat the back-to-back 1440s followed by back-to-back 12s that we saw at the X Games is uncertain. But we’re gutted that we won’t get a chance to see him try.

Suffering from a real bad case of Olympic fever? You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve joined forces with Ubisoft, the folks behind ‘Steep: Road To The Olympics’, to provide you with the very best coverage of the PyeongChang action.

While many of us will never even get close to attempting a switch triple cork 1440 Octo grab in real life, thanks to the magic of video games, and in particular ‘Steep: Road To The Olympics’, that possibility is much closer than you think.

Get STEEP & the Road To The Olympics add-on in the STEEP: Winter Games Edition. Available now.

Sponsored by

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production